Lagos tells parents to support children in skating

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The Lagos State Government said skating among children at the grassroots level will foster sports development

This was revealed by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos on Grassroots Sports Development during the Skate Lagos Championship 2024.

The championship, was organized by Adebanji Atewogboye, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Lagos on Grassroots Sports Development, in partnership with the Lagos State Sports Commission, was held at International Road, Oshodi-Isolo, in celebration of the Children’s Day.

Speaking during the competition, Atewogboye explained, “The purpose of this event is to celebrate Children’s Day and to use this opportunity to discover talent and engage our youth in various sporting activities, helping to keep them off the streets. Today’s event is a state initiative, powered by Mr. Governor, as part of a grassroots sports program.

Our governor is passionate about sports, and today’s event reflects this passion by including students from primary, secondary, and higher institutions across the state. This inclusiveness demonstrates our commitment to engaging young people and fostering their potential through different sporting activities. This initiative not only showcases their talents but also helps them become valuable to themselves, the state, and Nigeria as a whole. The program has been fantastic, with a great turnout and enthusiastic participation from the children.”

He encouraged parents to support their children’s interest in sports, saying, “Mr Governor’s dedication to engaging the youth in sports is paying off, as seen in the excitement and happiness of the participants. I advise parents to support their children’s interest in sports. Many children wish to participate, but some parents are hesitant to give them the time and freedom to train and attend programs. I encourage parents to allow their children to engage in sporting activities, as it will be beneficial to them, their families, and the state.”

Mr Damilare Orimoloye, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, revealed that Lagos State would provide ongoing support for the athletes to ensure continuity.

They have an association, the Lagos Association, which meets in Surulere. We want to ensure that government support continues and doesn’t stop. This is a championship, and we aim to ensure that even after a few months, the participants can grow. Lagos State is keen on sports development, not just educational sports,” he said.

He also advised parents to encourage their children to engage in skating, emphasising its safety and wellness benefits.

There is no sport without fitness, and skating establishes fitness. The kids have energy, and for parents, there’s nothing to worry about as long as safety measures are in place. Skating aids in development, and I want to encourage parents to engage their kids in it. Besides basketball and table tennis, which we are very focused on, skating is beneficial as it helps the overall well-being of children. The kids wear their helmets and guards, which we promote and provide. We ensure that all their safety gear is available. Safety is key, so we make sure that all safety measures are being adhered to for everyone here.”

A research assistant and advisor to Atewogboye on Grassroots Sports Development in Lagos State, and a representative of the Tutor General of Education, Dr Olasunkanmi Gbeleyi, discussed plans to incorporate skating into the Lagos State school system.

This initiative will extend to senior secondary schools and other educational institutions. We aim to develop infrastructure, including stadiums, across Lagos State. The framework is in place, and it requires the support of principals, the Tutor Generals, and other educational leaders. This will provide students with constructive activities, reducing idleness and contributing to their overall development,” he said.

Gbeleyi advised parents, “I urge parents to recognise that a successful future for their children encompasses more than just academic achievements. Sporting activities complement cognitive development and are crucial for holistic growth. Combining sports with cognitive activities will ensure a bright future for our youth.”

In the final female category of the event, Islamiyat Omolaoye emerged as the top contender, winning a cash prize. Other winners in different categories included Isaac Isaac with tag number 142 (Skate Brothers Category), Remi Mineruini with tag number 129, Emmanuel Akporoloko with tag number 019 (11-17 years male category), Oyetade Segun with tag number 149 (18 years+ male category), Deborah Franklin with tag number 077 (11-17 years female category), Smart Olamide with tag number 116 (5-7 years male category), and Babatunde Esther with tag number 085 (5-7 years female category).

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